reply to post by Res Ipsa
There couldn't be a more important issue. (that is saying alot too)
We have to boot the government out of it. The end of public schools. An end to indoctrination by the government. Vouchers. Let parents like me choose
where I send my kids.
I agree that Education is a very important issue. I won't rank the important issues, though, because I also think that affordable health care and
defense are also very important.
After spending most of my career in the business world, I took a Professorship position, and it truly opened my eyes as to the decline in educational
standards in the US.
Although I ended up teaching 3rd and 4th year classes in the Business School, my first few years I taught some freshmen classes. That was an eye
opener. Many of the students couldn't write an essay that wasn't loaded with spelling and grammatical errors. In addition, their knowledge of
American and World History was pathetic, as was knowledge of our government and structure. I began to wonder what the high schools were teaching. I
checked several of the students' transcripts, and was surprised to see virtually all A's and B's for such students.
Who is to blame? Well, as Hillary once said, it takes a village! (I can't believe I actually quoted her!) At every level, including the college
level, grade inflation was rampant. The students felt that they should get an A just for coming to class. The parents try to put pressure on the
teachers to give high grades, with the argument that if Johnny or Mary doesn't get all A's and B's, they won't get into a good school. If a
teacher doesn't give in, they're vilified, and accused of being a poor teacher. Furthermore, teachers then pressure school board members, who then
pressure administration, who then pressure the teacher to "ease up". At the college level, students seek out the "Easy A's", and end up learning
very little, but earn a degree with a high GPA. Then the student gets out in the world, gets hired, based upon that high GPA, and when they can't
perform, companies start with the outsourcing and H1B visas, claiming that we are not producing good students.
The grade inflation must stop. I am for the voucher system, since it increases competition, and forces a better quality of education. However, that is
not enough. The tenure system is archaic and counter-productive, especially in K through 12. Furthermore, IMHO, unions have no place in education. I
have seen teachers on a picket line, acting like thugs, and using obscene language and gestures. What kind of lesson does that teach to our
American Education is truly broken, and a complete revamp is needed.